How We Roll, March 8: let’s look at what’s happening on the Westside

La Brea Avenue at the bottom, the Wilshire corridor above mid-frame and you-know-what at the top. Photo courtesy Steve Hymon.

News from the Westside: Los Angeles City Council rejected an appeal from neighborhood advocates fighting a bicycle lane on Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista, so now the group plans to sue the city. The group claimed the road diet had caused an increase in traffic. Supporters of the road diet say the bike lane has reduced traffic noise and speeding drivers, making Venice Boulevard more welcoming. I don’t travel in that area very often, but considering Metro Bike Share just expanded into Mar Vista, keeping that bike lane around would probably be helpful to those looking to ride.

And if you’re a resident of the Mar Vista area, you’ve got a new transportation alternative to sitting in traffic starting today. LADOT rolled out their on-demand transportation service pilot program for the Del Rey, Venice, Mar Vista and Palms neighborhoods.

Up in NorCal, SF Curbed reports Caltrain’s Board of Director’s has approved a proposal to sell naming rights to Caltrain stations and other assets. Long time readers of this blog will know that selling naming rights to stations was something Metro flirted with in the past, but ultimately rejected.

Finally, flying cars vs. underground car tunnels. The article asks which futuristic vision is better, but IMO the future is already here. Helicopters and subways exist, so unless you’re offering me that personalized jetpack, no thanks.

9 replies

  1. jared is a minority here. most of us drive/fly in the 21st century. progress not regress.

    • Probably most relevant: what’s wrong with a “minority” asking for a minority share of the road that we both pay for? Doesn’t seem like a big deal. But I get it, you don’t think minority users should have any (note: less, not even equal) rights as you.

      • Since you cant see what’s wrong, I will point it out to you. Compare the number of people using their cars to commute versus the number of people using their bikes to commute. Bikers are minority in number. Yet they want half of a 2 lanes street. That is not “minority share of the road.” Don’t you think you are a little selfish? Nevermind….You probably think you’re entitled.

        • Murphy, those of us pushing for better bike infrastructure only feel entitled to a higher chance of surviving our bike ride. Our dependence on car driving is literally killing us – all of us – both right now, everyday, in sheer number of accidents, and in the long-term, in terms of pollution. Let’s leave our kids and grandkids a world they can sort of enjoy, and do a better job of not putting them in harm’s way. To that end, we need to promote other forms of transportation. One way of doing that is making it more safe to bike. I used to be a bike commuter in other cities, but don’t feel safe here. I, for one, would be thrilled to switch to bike riding from car driving once it’s a real option, and we have a robust network of bike lanes that are truly safe. I know I’m not alone. I’m sure you care about the well-being of everyone, so I hope you’ll reconsider your views. Thanks.

          • It’s nice to have the utopian hopes. I too hope the world would kumbaya – no war, guns, gangs, homelessness, etc. But we all wake up to see the reality. According to US News & World Report in Feb2019, Los Angeles is #5 in most congested city in the U.S. So try to convert this city into a bike city is unrealistic. I am not sure where you reside before relocating to the 5th most congested city in the U.S. That may not have been the best decision for you. Safety is important. If you don’t feel safe, then you may want to reconsider relocating. As for the kids, I believe that they are extremely brilliant and capable to figure out what’s best for them. You survived with what went on around you. What make you think the kids can’t? One thing I do agree with you is that “you are not alone.” There are other bicyclists who want half of the road. I personally don’t really care if people fly, drive or ride. I just like to see fairness. If 50% of the commuters are bicyclists then they should have half of the road. But with less than 3% are considered themselves as bicyclists but they want 50% of the road. That is a bit greedy.

  2. I’ve heard some people throwing tantrums over road diets, but as a cyclist, pedestrian, and Metro user, I am hugely relieved that LA is trying to come into the 21th century.

  3. Let’s present the facts straight here. The citizens in Mar Vista are fighting the road diet — not the bike lane.

    A standard bike lane without taking all the extra space for the protected road diet version works just fine in this location.

    • Excellent point that I think many people are missing. I preferred the old setup myself.

  4. Ckever, that last sentence about jet packs. We were all supposed to be using those long ago!

    It does seem as though most of these new proposals are outlandish impractical, creating more problems than they are worth.